Was it the Coffee’s Fault, the Daughter’s Fault, or the Policeman’s Fault?- by Ed Delph

12 March 2013 by Ed Delph-


I recently discovered a principle of life that I knew was working but didn’t understand very well. I have been speaking on it lately and my audiences have really responded positively to it. They like the ‘aha’ they get. Stephen Covey writes about it. I have quoted him with some minor editing. It’s called the 90/10 Principle. It could change your life.        

What is this Principle?

10% of life is made up of what happens to you. The other 90% of life is decided by how you react. What does this mean? We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%. How? You can determine by your reactions. You cannot control a red light. However, you can control your reaction to the red light. Do not let people fool you. You CAN control how you react.



Proverbs 29:11

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Here’s an example of how this works. You are having breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over orange juice onto your business shirt. You have no control over what has just happened. And what happens next will be determined by how you react.



You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over. She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your wife and criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish her breakfast and getting ready to go to school. She misses the bus.

Proverbs 19:11

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

Your spouse must leave immediately for work. You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles per hour in a 30 mph speed-limit zone. After a 15-minutes delay and throwing a hefty traffic fine away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye. After arriving at the office 20 minute late, you realize you forgot your briefcase.



Proverbs 16:32

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home. When you arrive home, you find a small wedge in your relationship with your wife and daughter. Why? It’s because of how you reacted in the morning. (Remember, when the queen is happy, there is peace in the kingdom by Ed’s note).

Why did you have a bad day? A) Did the coffee cause it? B) Did your daughter cause it? C) Did the policeman cause it? D) Did you cause it? The answer is D.

You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day. Here is what could have and should have happened.



Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say: “It’s okay, honey, you just need to be more careful next time.” Grabbing a towel you go upstairs and change your shirt. You grab your briefcase, and you come back down in time to look through the window. You see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early a cheerfully greet the staff.



Proverbs 15:1

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Notice the difference? There were two different scenarios that started the same. Both ended different. Why? It’s because of how you reacted. You really have no control over 10% of what happens in your life. The other 90% was determined by your reaction.”

James 1:19

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry


Note: This excerpt was written by pastor Ed Delph from United States who was invited as a speaker by chapter president Dr Rakesh Rai at KL Menara Hap Seng FGB (Full Gospel Businessmen Fellowship) on March 8th at 1 pm. Ed Delph is the founding pastor of Hosanna Christian Fellowship church in Phoenix, Arizona. He received his Doctorate of Ministry in February 2003 from the Phoenix University of Theology and is also currently the President of Nationstrategy, an organization that unleashes the potential of leadership in community. He has also authored many books such as the 5-minute Miracle, Learning How to Trust and Church @ Community to name a few.


Dr Rakesh Rai (in the middle) holding a book authored by Pastor Ed Delph (right-side)


Do you find this talk interesting? Come listen to more talks at Menara Hap Seng every Friday at 1 pm and also enjoy close fellowship with other Christian brothers and sisters who are also working at the vicinity! Fill your cup of faith and love with other working adults like you. Please visit http://www.fgb.com.my/Region_Central.html for more information.


Dr Rakesh Rai with beloved wife



Dear Viewers in Christ, if you find this article edifying to you, please share with your friends or loved ones by using the social media plugs (Share, Email to this article). The Lord will surely bless you as you bless others. May the Lord’s peace and love be with you. Amen.


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